Durbin: Repealing Americans’ Health Care Without Replacement Would Be Total Chaos

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called out congressional Republicans for initiating the process to repeal our health care system without any replacement plan to protect all Americans’ access to quality health insurance. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin described how at least five Republican Senators have publically stated that repeal of our health care law should happen simultaneously with a replacement, but that Republicans in Congress have no replacement plan and have had no plan for the past seven years.
“Apparently, a number of our colleagues here are having second thoughts about the strategy on the floor. We have before us a budget resolution, and it is setting the stage for a budget process called reconciliation. To put it in layman’s terms, we are going to be moving from this budget resolution vote to a vote at a time to be announced later, to repeal Obamacare,” said Durbin. “Simply repealing Obamacare, even saying it will happen at a later date throws into question if not chaos our health care system in America. A lot of people are finally thinking about that. It isn’t just a protest vote about a president who’s going to be leaving office in nine days. It is a life-and-death decision for health care for millions of Americans, and now many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are starting to wake up to that reality.”
Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available in high definition for TV Stations.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate in Illinois has fallen by 49 percent since the law’s enactment in 2010, meaning more than one million previously uninsured Illinoisans now have health insurance. Today, more than four million Illinoisans with employer-sponsored insurance no longer have annual or lifetime caps on their benefits, and more than 90,000 young adults in Illinois have benefitted from being able to stay on their parents’ health plan up to age 26. Our healthcare system now ensures that nearly six million Illinoisans—most with employer coverage—are receiving free preventive care, including free cancer screenings, mammograms, and flu shots. It has also ensured that thousands of Illinoisans with a mental illness or substance use disorder are now getting needed medical care. Thanks to the law, 197,000 Illinois seniors saved $205 million on drugs in 2015, an average saving of $1,041 per beneficiary. And thanks to our current healthcare system, the more than five million Illinoisans with a pre-existing condition are protected from unfair insurance practices that used to deny them coverage or charge them unaffordable premiums. All of these benefits are in jeopardy if congressional Republicans are successful at repealing our healthcare system.